By Amantha Writer, Special to the Independent
After 28 years of teaching preschool, Mandy Writer will be retiring soon from Laguna Presbyterian Church’s preschool.
She is the instructor with the most longevity among the current staff and began in 1985 at the behest of its former director, Pat Drew.
Writer, already teaching at the time, was ready for something local. Little did she know then that the same classroom would remain her work environment and a wellspring of relationships for the next 28 years.
Writer also worked under another former director, Marilyn O’Keefe, who continued to show love and support to the teachers. “Both Pat and Marilyn were such blessings not just to me and my family, but the community. They were such an inspiration to me,” Writer said.
Today, Writer’s own family needs require her to make a change. She said, “it was such a blessing to have both my daughters and niece and nephew all go to the preschool,” which is currently overseen by director Anne Herzog.
Writer will miss her colleagues, an expectation that makes her tearful. “A few of them I have worked with for 20 plus years and they have become family to me,” she said.
She knows she will miss first-hand insights that spill from the mouths of children, such as during the school’s “Dad and Me” days, when students often relate memorable stories about their fathers.
Writer also recognizes that job stability granted her a special role in the childhood of many youth. “I will also miss seeing the children over the years grow up in town – from preschool to college.”
Writer is retiring for family reasons. She and husband Jerry recently relocated to Cerritos to help care for her parents. Her oldest daughter, Amantha, is in the dental profession. Her youngest, Emily, lives out of state and has a baby on the way.
So now Writer is looking forward to becoming a grandmother and yet still plans visits to Laguna Beach to join her teacher friends at Diver’s Cove and as a make-up artist in her 18th year for the Pageant of the Masters production this summer.
In surveying her career, Writer expresses her appreciation and love for God, her husband, and daughters, as well as her students and colleagues. “Thank you for putting a smile on my face every day and remember to always reach for the stars! Many blessings to all. And to all, I’ll see you at the beach!”
Writer will surely be missed. Stop by within the next few weeks. She, no doubt, will appreciate your good wishes.
The author is the daughter of Mandy Writer.